Coolest Offices in Manila: Happy Skin
Fun, feminine interiors make this homegrown brand's new HQ as pretty as its beauty products.
(SPOT.ph) It’s only been in the market for less than two years, but local makeup brand Happy Skin has consistently been making waves in the beauty scene, thanks to its innovative products. And with its rapid growth came the need for this start-up to move to new headquarters. “For the longest time, we were just working from home and having meetings in restaurants,” says Rissa Mananquil Trillo, co-founder of Happy Skin Cosmetics. “Now an office allows us to grow as a company.”
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Rissa and business partner Jacqueline Yuengtian Gutierrez picked a quiet neighborhood in Pasig to set up their company’s very first office. Their design direction for the workspace was simple: It had to be as pretty as their products. “One of the things Happy Skin is known for is our pretty, eye-catching, and fun packaging, and we wanted to translate that to our office,” says Rissa. “It has to be a place that makes us feel happy as soon as we enter it,” she adds. The co-founders then turned to Heim Interiors to bring their vision to life.
The first task the interior designers had to take on? Creating distinct areas in what was originally just one open space on the first floor of a building that serves both business and residential occupants. “The space was limited but we had to maximize it to serve several functions and to meet our needs,” explains Rissa. “Plus, we wanted to keep that homey feel; nothing too stiff or formal.”
And it’s easy to feel at home in this office. As soon as you enter, a comfy pink couch welcomes you in the reception area—not a sparse lobby or an overbearing security guard. “I love that when you come in, you don’t have to go through a common area or a hallway, but it still feels and looks like a proper entrance,” says Rissa.
Also by the entrance are white cabinets with glass doors, which make up what the Happy Skin staff refers to as the “beauty museum.” These bespoke pieces, designed by Heima (Heim Interiors' furniture store) showcase the brand’s collections—from their permanent and seasonal lines to their collaborations.
Behind the reception is the boudoir—another piece specifically made for Happy Skin. It’s their very own makeup counter in the office, and Rissa says it’s her favorite spot, too. “A lot of our ‘wow moments’ happen there. That’s where we discover our next products and do a lot of our product testing. That’s also where the staff gets to bond. All of us girls, we put on our makeup there—nothing brings women together better than a good lippie, right?”
In place of personal cubicles are two open, common areas. “We feel that these encourage creativity, teamwork, and more sharing of ideas,” explains Rissa. These areas, as well the conference room, are anchored by custom-made tables and cushioned seats, allowing everyone on the team to just pick her spot for the day, prop up her laptop, and get work done.
To balance and complement the mostly teal and pink interiors, fixtures in copper and gold—like the globe lights and droplights—were brought in. Accessories from home store L'Indochine complete the cool, feminine, and fun-loving vibe of the office. “We had to be mindful that the office doesn’t look too young, so we used a play on colors and added sleek elements,” says Rissa.
Practical needs were addressed with creative solutions. Pre-made dividers painted in teal, for example, provide privacy in the conference rooms and common areas, without completely cutting them off form the rest of the office. Sheer curtains allow air and natural light to come in.
Overall, it’s a workplace that not only meets the company’s growing needs, but also inspires the women who work here. “This office is a milestone for us. It’s a place where we can dream bigger dreams and continue to aspire for our homegrown brand to grow to serve more Filipinas,” shares Rissa.
Click through the gallery to see more cool details of the Happy Skin HQ.
Photos by Dairy Darilag. Gallery photos courtesy of Happy Skin (home accessories, globe lights, budoir).
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